• “The dawn of the Cold War in 1947 produced a myriad of new studies on the future of warfare—but it was the Korean conflict of 1950–1953 that launched a vast, never-to-be-demobilized armed force. In this state of permanent alert, planning continued unbroken—the Commander of the US Air Force, Henry H. (Happ) Arnold, launched ‘Project Rand’ as a way of forecasting the character of future intercontinental war. The project became a part of Douglas Aircraft and, not long after, a hugely influential, nonprofit think tank. One of the Rand’s first reports was ‘Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship.’ Though its title sounds like science fiction, the preliminary design morphed, over the next ten years, into a major Air Force effort to develop reconnaissance satellites” (39).
  • “But there figured among this new literature of future war, a novel form of literature that came to be known as the scenario, located somewhere between a story outline and ever more sophisticated role-playing war games. Developed and popularized by the defense intellectual Herman Kahn (perhaps the most salient model for Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove), the scenario emerged from war gaming to become a staple of the new futurism” (39).
  • “Gordon and his ‘Boston Group’—including the Yale sociologist and futurist Wendell Bell—began writing scenarios of the future in which people, hundreds of generations in the future, would penetrate the site. If they could anticipate the modes of penetration, then perhaps the warning monument people could block those scenarios from coming to pass. The monument makers saw their task as having four imperatives: the monument would have to survive, it would have to be understood, it would need to be recognized as a warning, and the warning would have to be heeded” (43).
  • “The Boston Group’s ‘point scenarios’ were not the only ones, nor were such stories the only form of prognostication—there were also quantitative simulations, for example. But, taken together, the Boston team’s ten stories, set in the Southwest from AD 2091 to the 13th millennium, form a kind of overarching sketch of the kind of anxieties troubling the state-sponsored futurists as they surveyed the cultural landscape. Each built on current trends and rocketed them out to a wild asymptotic limit. Every one (or rather, all but one) ended in the catastrophic release of radiation. And each bore a kind of narrative particularity: ‘these scenarios are quite detailed. As such they contain specific, imagined events or people. This does not necessarily limit the usefulness of these scenarios. The specificity is useful to give a sense of credibility to the setting’” (43–44).
  • “Once, in an interview, Ted Gordon remarked that the scenario, a sketch of a story, was a term borrowed from the movies. Though its etymology takes us back to the fifteenth century, the modern connotation is very much mid-twentieth. There is something cataclysmic about scenarios as they have come to signify. Something in their near-past re-origination in nuclear cataclysm makes them evacuated stories, specific in certain passing ways and yet hollowed-out. Perhaps this is why, in Japan, so many people have found the most powerful depiction of Hiroshima not in the words of writers such as John Hersey, nor in the all-too-vivid still or moving images taken just after 7 August 1945, but in the images of the Japanese graphic novelist and child-witness to Hiroshima, Keiji Nakazawa. Nakazawa’s images in his 1972 comic, “I Saw It,” are anything but photorealistic. Instead, they are often black-outlined, sketched figures, with areas of evenly presented color. Understatement is everywhere—in the tiny hand-drawn ‘8:15am; in the corner of a frame indicating the moment of detonation, and not many frames later, an image of only black” (45).